Francis Lawrence to Direct Gawker v. Hulk Hogan Movie From 'Big Short' Writer

FILM: Francis Lawrence

"Catching Fire" director Francis Lawrence (CAA, Hansen Jacobson) also will helm the final two films in Lionsgate's "Hunger Games" series, "Mockingjay Part 1" and "Part 2."

This is the second Hollywood feature being developed about the trial that brought down the controversial media company.

Francis Lawrence will tackle the big-screen version of one of the largest and weirdest media lawsuits in recent memory.

The Hunger Games filmmaker is attached to direct the adaptation of Ryan Holiday's Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue.

The Big Short scribe Charles Randolph is attached to write the movie, which will chronicle Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker Media over a sex tape that the online media company published featuring the former WWE star and the wife of Tampa-area shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge. A jury ruled in Hogan's favor, resulting in a $140 million judgment that eventually lead to Gawker's dissolution. 

Hogan, Gawker founder Nick Denton and the lawsuit's secret financier, Peter Thiel, will all be characters in the movie.

David A. Neuman's Blackrock Productions is behind the feature, which he and Lawrence will produce. 

Conspiracy isn't the only Hollywood project being developed about the salacious legal battle. Modern Family director Jason Winer is attached to helm Gawker v. Thiel from producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. Also, at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Netflix picked up the feature documentary Nobody Speak, which chronicled the trial.

“When I read Ryan’s extraordinary book I was totally taken with this story, such an exquisitely contemporary tale, and I immediately had a vision for it as a film," said Lawrence. "It’s an important and meaningful story, and one I’m excited to tell."

Added Randolph: “Ryan Holiday’s book and the story it tells are rare gifts for a screenwriter. These are such larger-than-life characters — strange, new volatile forces in society — and their conflict matters.”

Lawrence most recently directed the Jennifer Lawrence starrer Red Sparrow and is currently developing the reboot of Battlestar Galactica for Universal. He is repped by CAA, 3 Arts and Hansen Jacobson. 

Randolph, who is repped by CAA, is currently working on Annapurna's untitled Megyn Kelly project.